US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday that his country and Saudi Arabia were working to extend a ceasefire in Sudan and reach a deal on the provision of humanitarian assistance.
“Together now, we are pressing the warring parties in Sudan to put down their guns and allow life-saving aid to reach the Sudanese people,” Blinken said on Tuesday, during a joint press conference with his British counterpart James Cleverly.
He added that the US and Saudi diplomats were “deeply engaged in talks”, working with the UK, the UAE, the African Union and other partners.
“The collective aim that we have is to lay the foundation for further negotiations between the parties that we hope can lead to a permanent cessation of hostilities,” he said.
Blinken continued: “But in the first instance, we’re working in Jeddah to extend the ceasefire and get agreement on the provision of humanitarian assistance to the people of Sudan. We continue to engage directly with Sudanese civilian leaders, with Sudanese civilian society with the goal of putting their nation back on the track to civilian democratic governance. That’s the goal that we share and the goal that we will not give up on.”
Meanwhile, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said that the number of internally displaced (IDPs) in Sudan has more than doubled in just the last week, since the eruption of armed clashes across the country.
Speaking at a press briefing at the United Nations in Geneva, IOM’s spokesperson Paul Dillon said that according to IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix, more than 700,000 people were now internally displaced by the fighting, which began on 15 April.
The number of IDPs increased in many areas, including the capital, where clashes were continuing.
Dillon said: “Last Tuesday, the figure stood at 340,000. And, of course, prior to the fighting, an estimated 3.7 million people were internally displaced in Sudan.”